County Commissioners Review Enrollment Numbers and Dorm Upgrades at LCC

Commissioner Schnabel Visting with SOS Diners

The push is on for fall enrollment at Lamar Community College, according to Chad DeBono, Vice President of Enrollment Services.  DeBono, LCC President John Marrin and Cheryl Sanchez, VP of Student and Administrative Services at the college met with the Prowers County Commissioners, Thursday, May 26.  Their discussion focused on the college’s future plans regarding enrollment, increased housing and infrastructure improvements.

Summer enrollment has increased over the past year, from 204 to 233 for summer classes, a gain of FTE students and the push is on for fall enrollment.  According to DeBono, pre-registration enrollments have increased by 25% over 2010.  The recent soccer tryouts for the school’s new men’s club yielded six new student members and nine more are needed for a full team. 

Sanchez said improvements to LCC’s 40 year old heating and cooling system will begin, following completion of a technical energy audit.  The savings will be reinvested in paying for the upgrades for the boilers, cooling plant and lighting system, as well as a ventilation system upgrade on the Trustees Building.  She added that dorm expansion and refurbishing will be completed by the first week in August.  Residence hall pods north of the current dorm complex will be expanded to accommodate 24 students in apartment like settings.  These are similar to the ones constructed two years ago at OJC by the same company.  The new facilities will also aid summer enrollment for out of town students who need a place to live during dorm renovations.  Additional summer work includes replacing the flooring to the cafeteria.  President Marrin said the college will spend the summer reassessing the Entrepreneurship program at LCC.  Marrin said the program’s enrollment numbers aren’t approaching what had been anticipated.  He added that it’s still an important segment of the LCC curriculum, given the economic needs of the region. 

IT personnel Kevin Rink and Ryan Sneller spoke about the TV tower project which features a transfer of the remaining analogue TV systems to digital reception.  KOAA TV has setting aside funding to help defray costs for any problems associated with the community upgrade. The only cost incurred was minor, for brackets needed to secure antennas on three towers in three area counties.  Prowers lost four analogue channels, but gained 10 digital including two Spanish speaking, one radio and seven TV channels.  Some residents required modifications to their home based cable connections. 

P3’s Meg Day visited briefly with the commissioners for a routine request to increase the limit on a credit card used by a P3 and Family Teen Center employee.   Day said it will take at least two more weeks to learn the fate of the sustaining JAG funds she sought through a grant application.  Without it, the Teen Center will close in early September.  Day said there are enough funds to carry through the Center’s plans for the summer. 

Commissioners adjourned for an early lunch scheduled at the Community Resource and Senior Center on East Olive Street.  The lunch was an observance of Older Coloradans Month.  In other action the commissioners discussed potential cost savings with the consolidation of accounting services among the county, the county public health department and department of social services.  The commissioners decided to postpone authorizing a final letter for project acceptance for the Transportation Museum until all construction costs have been resolved.  The grand opening is set for June 25.

By Russ Baldwin


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